Palace tells foreigners: Follow ECQ rules or leave PH

Published April 23, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said on Thursday that foreign nationals staying in the country are not exempted from the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being implemented in Luzon and are free to leave the Philippines if they do not want to follow the lockdown restrictions.

Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after it was reported that foreigners living at the Pacific Plaza Towers in Taguig were violating quarantine protocols.

In his Thursday press briefing, Roque reminded foreign nationals that the ECQ applies to all.

“Ang mensahe po ng Presidente: Ang ECQ po ipatutupad sa lahat— sa mayaman, sa mahirap, sa Pilipino, o sa dayuhan (President Duterte’s message is this: the ECQ applies to all— whether you are rich, poor, a Filipino, or a foreigner),” he said.

“Kung ayaw niyo pong tumupad diyan, lalung-lalo na yung mga dayuhan, umalis na po kayo ng Pilipinas (If you don’t want to follow the order, especially the foreigners, then just leave the Philippines). You are free to go,” he added.

Early this week, it was reported that “uniformed and armed police officers went to the Pacific Plaza Towers in Taguig after receiving a call from the Office of the Mayor of Taguig City on alleged violations being committed by residents there.

The police officers were seen in a video shouting at the residents and unit owners to return to their units.

On Monday, Roque said the police cannot enter private properties unless there’s a crime committed in the said place, they were invited, or they have a search warrant. He added that the constitutional right of the people to security cannot be violated.

“Meron pong nagsumbong sa pulis na naging dahilan kaya pumasok po sila sa Pacific Plaza (Someone filed a complaint with the police that’s why they went to Pacific Plaza),” he said.

“Meron daw ilang mga residente, ilang mga dayuhan na mayayaman, na nagpupumilit at lumalabag sa ECQ, tumatambay sa tinatawag na common area kasama na yung swimming pool (They claimed there were some residents, some rich foreigners, who insist and violate the ECQ by staying in the common area where the swimming pool was),” he added.

The policemen, led by Maj. Gen. Joseph Austria, proceeded to the garden and pool area where six to eight residents were said to be congregating.